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It's all about movement!

By
Joanna Clark,   Wellington Junior High School
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Topics:
Physical Activity Participation,  Student Leadership

This year we had a lot of success with using the in-class physical activity "brain breaks" that we had started the previous school year. In our first year students had 6 activities for teachers to chose from by rolling a die. The number corresponded to an activity that the class would do. This year the student leadership class in the fall wanted to expand the range of activities and make them more active and quicker to do. After a lot of research, and of course participation in the activities, the class settled on 20 different activities to get students up and moving in a short period of time. They designed a way for teachers to quickly choose the activity so that instructional class time lost was at a minimum. They put the numbers 1-20 on tags that hang on a ring and provided the teacher with a corresponding list of activities. The teacher then holds the tags face down for a student to choose one at random and then that is the activity the class does. Because the students chose the activities for the rest of the school to participate in they had buy in, they enjoyed the activities (because they had tried them all), and could share with others how much fun they were. Once the "brain break" activities were created, we gave them to teachers and implemented phase 2 of the program. Instantly we heard great feedback from teachers and students alike. We continued to spread the word about using the physical activities in the classroom and continued to get great results. It is definitely something as a school we will continue advertising and getting the whole school involved in.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

This physical activity "brain break" idea took students designing the activities and explaining to the adults in the building how they all worked. Students tried the activities before settling on the ones they did so that adults and other students in the building knew they were engaging and fun for all.